Friday, December 23, 2011

Free Recipe Friday. . .It's Breakfast Time!

If you've ever been to any kind of large family function, potluck, etc.
you have most assuredly had some form of a breakfast/sausage casserole.
There are as many variations of this casserole as there are
bread types!  If you have never attempted to make one,
this one is a pretty good and easy start.
Ellen Watson of Kilgore gave me this recipe
(along with many others) more than 20 years ago.
I don't believe I ever attempted to make it until about 5 or more years later.
It's funny how it has since become
a Christmas tradition in our household.
Even though we have since acquired other favorite breakfast foods....
we just can't stop making THIS one for Christmas!
It's just tradition.

You will only need a few basic ingredients,
and you can most certainly add to these...
such as throwing in a few hashbrowns, etc...
half this recipe or double it. 
It is VERY can easily fudge
the quantities of any of the ingredients!

1 lb. ground pork sausage, cooked
10-12 large eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
2 tsp. dry mustard (or a few squirts of reg. mustard)
2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. black pepper
8-10 slices of bread, cubed or torn (any kind or a mixture)
2 -3 cups shredded cheddar

Brown sausage, crumble while cooking and drain.
In a separate, medium size bowl, whisk eggs.
Add milk and remaining ingredients.
Stir well.  Toss in cooked sausage and pour all into 
a Pam sprayed 9x13 casserole dish.
Bake in a 350 oven for 45-60 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit at least 15 minutes.

The original recipe says to prepare the casserole the night before...
and bake the next morning.
That was actually what enticed us to make this for
an early Christmas morning breakfast to begin with!
We have since learned we can whip it up quickly
in the wee hours of Christmas morning
AFTER viewing Santa's bounty.
We toss it into the oven while everyone
oogles over their gifts and while we wait for it to cook,
James cuts open boxes, adds batteries to toys
and we both slurp down our coffee.

The deliciousness comes out of the oven about 45 minutes to an hour later.
We traditionally (as if the casserole was not enough),
heat up some flour tortillas, get out the Albert's Hot Sauce
and turn our servings of this casserole into a breakfast burrito...
along with a few slices of good naval oranges or clementines!

Mmmm...I can smell that orange peel NOW!
We can't wait to have this on Christmas morning...
we hope you will be enjoying something yummy as well!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Recipe Friday. . . Mas Queso!

Many years ago, I came across an amazing website.
On this site, much research is done to remake
restaurant favs like Domino's Pizza,
Little Debbie's Snacks, Dippin' Dots,
Outback's 'brown bread' and
bloomin' onion and bazillions more.
The catch is that you can recreate these
in your very own kitchen!
With ingredients purchased in your local grocery store!
The guy we can thank for this is Todd Wilbur - an amazing Food Hacker
and he has a website, books, etc. - Top Secret Recipes !
He has most recently even had his own television show
- and boy, is he gutsy!
Our Free Recipe Friday THIS week features
one of his most dandiest discoveries ever in my book.
A staple in the Taylor household, it is
Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe...mmmm.
I actually discovered this recipe on TSR's site,
way before I had ever tasted this soup in a Chili's restaurant.
And I must say, the home version is way better...
or at least that is what we were used to!
This soup is SO delicious and perfect for this cold, dreary weather,
I really hope you get to try it soon.
Here's the basics of what you will need...

1.  Chicken - preferably boneless, skinless breasts
2.  Chopped onion
3.  Large can of enchilada sauce
4.  Chicken broth (or 1 tablespoon paste w/ water)
5.  Velveeta/cheddar cheese
6.  Masa Harina

(if you measure)

1 tablespoon veg. oil
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 small diced onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (give or take)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water
1 can mild enchilada sauce
16 oz. velveeta - cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

grated cheddar cheese, crumbled tortilla chips
and sour cream for garnish -
all are optional of course!

What to do:
Start by *cooking your chicken. (see below)
Pan fry it in the veg. oil, in a large stockpot,
4-5 minutes on each side.
Set cooked chicken aside. Cook onion/garlic
in the hot oil until clear and then pour in chicken broth...
scraping yummy bits off the bottom of the pot.
In a separate bowl, combine masa harina with
2 cups of the water. Stir to combine and pour into the pot.
Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, velveeta cheese and spices.
Bring to a boil.  Shred chicken into bite size pieces
and add to the pot.  Reduce heat and simmer until thick.
Serve soup in bowl and garnish.

*You can also boil your chicken in chicken broth,
then remove it to chop up - bake the chicken
and then chop or pan fry it as the recipe suggests.
Pan frying or even baking the chicken
and giving it a golden color will DEFINITELY
add more flavor to it vs. it being boiled. 
But the ease of this recipe is that you
should do whatever is best and easiest for YOU.
You could even use a rotisserie chicken!

Now, "how easy is THAT?"
- in my Barefoot Contessa voice!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free Recipe Friday. . .say CHEEEEZ!!!

I don't know WHERE my brain was this Thanksgiving.
(BIG surprise!)
This Cheese Log is one of my most favorite things in the world.
Maybe because CHEESE is one of my most favorite things in the world!
I don't know how far back this recipe goes...
but I always remember my mom making it
at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.
For many years now, it seems that most holidays I have made this dip....
but this year, it was 7 days AFTER Thanksgiving
before I even THOUGHT about it.
It is so yummy and EASY...please don't ever buy a 'cheese' ball from
the grocery store ever again!

Do you have a food processor?
Then this is all you will need -

2 cups cheddar cheese or more (I rarely measure!)
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese - softened
1/2 yellow onion (not pictured)
appx. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
appx. 1 tablespoon worchestershire
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika

I guess if chili powder and paprika are not your thing,
you could definitely roll the log in chopped pecans...
just like those cute little tasteless things in grocery stores.

Begin by tossing cream cheese and onion into
the food processor. Mix well - until onion is minced nicely.
While processor is running, add all other ingredients
(except chili powder and paprika)
saving the cheddar cheese for last.
You will need to stop the processor and scrape down
the sides a couple of times during the dip making.
Mixture is ready after it is completely smooth.

See? Was that so hard??? complete the can go two different routes
(or more if you use your imagination!)
Scrape the mixture into a bowl,
top with chili powder/paprika mixture and serve...

OR roll into a log.

To make a Cheese 'Log,' first you need to
tear off a sheet of wax paper and lay it on your work surface. 
Sprinkle your chili powder/paprika mixture down the center of the wax paper. 
Now scrape the cheese mixture out of the food processor onto the spices.

(I promise that the mixture above is on wax paper...
it is just hard to see.)
Next, fold the wax paper on top of the mixture
to make the ends of the wax paper match up.

You can even sprinkle more spice mixture on top of
the cheese mixture to cover any missed spots
and to make sure it gets coated well
for a more even look and to keep the mixture from sticking
to the wax paper and making a big mess.

Now, grab a baking sheet and slowly push against the
blob of cheese mixture...this will form a log.
You can make the log as narrow or fat as you'd like,
depending on how much you push on it.
Now roll up the wax paper and and refrigerate until firm.

After the Cheese Log is chilled, you can unroll and cover
any missed spots with more spice mixture!


Free Recipe Friday...with a twist!

Welcome back to free recipe BLACK Friday!
The day after thanksgiving when we are all so sick of food
that we should really just fast for a few days!
I hope you all had an amazing holiday....
with whomever you shared it with....
and spent some time reflecting on the many many things
we have to be thankful for!
God is good to us, He is gracious and loves us
even though we are undeserving...
I hope you've taken some time to thank Him for that.

(melody's homemade pies)

This thanksgiving was not unlike
many others we've had for my side of the family....
we have had years when my dad would make homemade egg rolls,
years when we would have deep fried turkey,
years when we would have Italian.


So this year was not unusual in that we chose to have Mexican food-
our menu consisted of yummy homemade salsa, green dip,
tamales, award winning chili, chalupa beans, 'moms' enchiladas
and more desserts than we could count!
Today, we will travel a bit and dine with james' family
for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
The twist for today's free recipe Friday is that there is no 'recipe' -
because the thought of concocting one more meal
makes me want to barf!
The fridge is packed full of leftovers
and we are heading out to consume more!

(beautiful cousins)

This week, we want to know what foods were your favs this year??!
Did you enjoy any new things on ur table ???
I hope everyone had/is having a great thanksgiving this year!
And remember to 'count your blessings name them one by one,
count your blessings see what God hath done'
See you next Friday!